Pakistan and Iran ease tensions through diplomacy and anti-terrorism cooperation

Pakistan and Iran de-escalate tensions through diplomatic dialogue, addressing mutual concerns and signaling a desire to return to pre-incident relations amid recent cross-border hostilities.

Pakistan and Iran have reached a critical agreement following a recent exchange of missile and drone attacks that raised concerns about regional stability. The foreign ministers of the two nations, Jalil Abbas Jilani of Pakistan and Hossein Amir-Abdollahian of Iran engaged in a pivotal phone conversation. During this dialogue, both nations pledged not only to strengthen working-level cooperation and coordination on counter-terrorism but also to address various aspects of mutual concern.

The situation began to unfold when Iran launched a missile and drone attack against the armed group Jaish al-Adl in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. In response, Pakistan retaliated by striking armed-group targets inside Iran, leading to the recall of ambassadors and a spike in diplomatic tensions. However, the recent dialogue between the foreign ministers also touched upon the return of ambassadors to their respective capitals.

A noteworthy aspect of the recent developments is the direct involvement of both countries’ military forces in what analysts describe as a slow-burning proxy war in the provinces of Balochistan and Sistan-Baluchestan. Over the past 24 hours, there has been a concentrated effort from both sides to engage in diplomatic initiatives aimed at easing the growing tensions.

In response to the crisis, Pakistan’s Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar convened a National Security Committee meeting, with military chiefs in attendance. The committee’s conclusion was optimistic, stating that through dialogue and diplomacy, minor irritants could be overcome, ultimately aiming to deepen the historic relations between the two nations. However, it also asserted a firm stance on defending Pakistan’s territory against any breach, emphasizing the state’s commitment to responding with full might.

Following the national security review, Prime Minister Kakar underlined the mutual interest of both countries in returning to pre-incident relations. He urged Iran to address security concerns through existing communication channels. Reports suggest that the cabinet, in a decisive move, has chosen to end the standoff and endorsed the re-establishment of full diplomatic relations with Iran.

The recent cross-border intrusions, involving ballistic missiles, drones, and heavy ammunition, mark a significant escalation in hostilities between Pakistan and Iran. Despite these developments, both nations have expressed a desire to calm tensions. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged maximum restraint and a peaceful resolution through dialogue, emphasizing the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and good neighbourly relations between the two countries.